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Is Jesus real?

When we examine the historical evidence for the existence of Jesus, we see that the fact that Jesus existed and lived on this earth is something that is undisputed by historians and scholars of different faiths. They may not agree on the purpose inherent within Jesus' life, but they do agree that He did, indeed, exist. Jesus is real.

In more modern times, there is a popular belief among people called mythicists who believe that Jesus did not exist. Dr. Bart Ehrman, Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, wrote a book entitled Did Jesus Exist? The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth. Though Ehrman himself is a professing agnostic with a bent toward atheism, he asserts that true historical scholars agree on Jesus' existence as a person; he does not know of any who do not. Ehrman says that many who promote mythicist beliefs are not true historical scholars and that some elements of their teachings border on being conspiracy theories. In the book, Ehrman builds a base-level argument for Jesus' existence by claiming that if He were an invented figure, whoever created Him would not have allowed Him to be overcome in the end. Ehrman says: "The Messiah was supposed to overthrow the enemies—and so if you're going to make up a messiah, you'd make up a powerful messiah. You wouldn't make up somebody who was humiliated, tortured and the killed by the enemies."

Aside from the Bible, other religious writings based in Gnosticism, Judaism, Hinduism, and Islam mention Jesus. Tacitus, a first-century Roman historian, mentions the followers of Christ in his writings. Jesus Christ is also talked about by the ancient Jewish historian Flavius Josephus in his Antiquities of the Jews. Jesus is referred to in writings by Julius Africanus, quoting the historian Thallus; Lucian of Samosata, a second-century Greek writer; Suetonius, chief secretary to Emperor Hadrian; Mara Bar-Serapion; and Pliny the Younger. Jesus is not a made-up figure; He is a real person who really lived on this earth.

Jesus Christ is the most impactful historical figure the world has ever known. He is such a real person that our entire Western dating system is measured based on the dates of Jesus' life. One of the great witnesses to the existence of Jesus is the faith of the early church. Those in the early church were in a position to know if Jesus of Nazareth truly existed; they were eye-witnesses to His ministry or heard about Him from eye-witnesses. If Jesus was made up, those in the early church could have easily discovered the farce. But even people who did not believe Jesus to be the Messiah He claimed to be did not question that He was a real person. Thousands of first-century Christians were devoted to following Jesus even to the point of death, refusing to reject Christ and, many times, willfully choosing to die a martyr's death instead. No one willingly chooses death for the sake of something they know to be a lie. To have this level of conviction, these early believers, in particular, truly had to believe in Jesus' existence as a person—and, more importantly, as God.

After Jesus was raised from the dead, He told one of His disciples, Thomas, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed" (John 20:29). Today we have the witness of history as well as the evidence of Jesus' work in countless people's lives. Jesus is very much a real person, and He is our only Savior (Acts 4:12).

References

'Did Jesus Exist?' A Historian Makes His Case: https://www.npr.org/2012/04/01/149462376/did-jesus-exist-a-historian-makes-his-case

Did Jesus Exist: https://www.npr.org/books/titles/149461223/did-jesus-exist-the-historical-argument-for-jesus-of-nazareth#excerpt

The Bible Says Jesus Was Real. What Other Proof Exists?: https://www.history.com/news/was-jesus-real-historical-evidence


Related Truth:

Who is Jesus Christ?

What do we know about the real, historical Jesus? Who is Jesus?

Is Jesus a myth?

Jesus' mission – What was it?

Why does it matter that Jesus is God in the flesh?


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